DECEMBER 17, 2022
2018 FIFA World Cup runner ups, Croatia finished their Qatar 2022 campaign with a 2-1 win over Morocco in the third place play off, making it the second time in their World Cup history that they’ve finished third after their 1998 run in France.
Croatia took an early lead seven minutes into the game with Josko Gvardiol heading in a well worked set piece routine. The 1-0 lead would be extremely short lived as Achraf Dari quickly made it 1-1 from five yards out after a Hakim Ziyech inswinging free-kick was unwittingly looped towards his own goal by the head of Majer.
With halftime quick approaching, Croatia took the lead in the 42nd minute via a Mislav Orsiv curling shot from the left that went beyond Morocco goalkeeper Yassine Bounou and in off the post as the eventual winner.
Going into the match after losing their respective semifinals to Argentina and France, both Croatia and Morocco were in on the offensive looking for a top three finish. Croatia bested Morocco in terms of possession (51-49) as well as total shots (12-8).
Morocco would come close to scoring in the final seconds via Youssef En-Nesyri, whose header from the six yard box hit the top netting.
In an unfortunate incident, Andrej Kramaric, who had scored a brace for Croatia against Canada in the group stage was forced off the field following an injury in the second half.
The two teams had of course begun their tournament facing each other in Group F, sharing points in a 0-0 draw.
Courtesy/Source: This Indian Express / PTI